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Cape York Partnership has undergone a major renewal in 2014 to form a unique group dedicated to the next phase of the Cape York Agenda and building economic opportunity and employment. Following a process of restructuring our regional organisations into a single corporate and management structure, we are now the Cape York Partnership. Our touchstone remains our partnership with individuals, families and communities as they strive for lives of value, freedom and prosperity. The Family Empowerment Report is published quarterly and serves to monitor and measure and communicate the


achievements and challenges of those living and working in Cape York Welfare Reform communities.

Š2015 Not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of Cape York Partnership. Cape York Partnership takes all care to

2 ensure the accuracy and quality of the information in this report. Cape York Partnerships cannot guarantee complete accuracy and all materials are provided without warranty.

contents 4

Chief Executive Officer Report


General Manager’s Summary


Individual and Family Development


Our Corporate Structure / Our Governance


Our Specialist Portfolios - Cape York Institute - O-Hubs - Cape York Employment - Cape York Enterprises - Bama Services - Cape York Timber - Cape York Leaders Program - Djarragun College


Hubs for Opportunity


Aurukun Family Stories


Coen Family Stories


Hope Vale Family Stories


Mossman Gorge Family Stories



CEO’S REPORT It has been a year of growth and consolidation for the organisation. With a determined focus on family development we could no longer lament the chronic gap in employment and economic opportunity without taking action. Much effort has been applied to building the framework needed to take on new challenges and to expand in areas of existing specialty. Without economic incentives our people are shackled to a life on the ‘welfare pedestal’. Two years of innovation landed us in an exciting position. By uniting specialist like-minded entities under a new Cape York Partnership structure we could start working with our communities to develop new policies and measures around economic opportunity and employment. The restructure also provided an opportunity to consolidate core operational services. The new brand and positioning provided an opportunity to re-engage with our key audience, the Indigenous people of Cape York, with the promise to work collaboratively and to design our future together. We plan to do this by re-igniting the Cape York Summits, which have historically been significant stepping-stones to reform. Cape York would unite to have important conversations and make big decisions. Most importantly the restructure provided the space to redevelop our governance, which boasts some of the best business minds in the country that will be put to work to solve some of the most complex challenges facing Cape York Indigenous people. As it has in the past, the work stemming from Cape York will have an impact on Indigenous affairs throughout Australia. The governance structure is pictured in detail in this report. The Partnership continues to lead debate via the Institute and its policy work and grow leaders of tomorrow through the Cape York Leaders Program, which continues to grow and achieve beyond expectation.


Our Opportunity Hubs have taken on a community version of its name—O-Hub—but continues to provide holistic capacity building supports to individuals and families. Cape York Enterprises and Cape York Employment are areas of enormous potential. We have launched a novel model for enterprise development, which we have implemented successfully over the past 12–18 months to rescue and grow Bama Services into a profitable Indigenous business. While in its infancy Cape York Timber’s future under the model is positive. We remain steadfast in our commitment to build local capacity to enable local people to perform valuable roles in their community. This is an area that Cape York Partnership is leading the way and we advocate at all levels of government to work towards empowering local people to fill local positions. We are continuing to see the proportion of


Indigenous employees across our organisations grow. For example, the O-Hubs now boast 63 per cent Indigenous staff while the Cape York Leaders Program now has 100 per cent Indigenous staff. Cape York Employment, the new Remote Jobs and Communities Program provider in Aurukun and Coen, has enhanced our efforts to recruit local Indigenous staff and to cross promote capacity building opportunities such as MPower and Pride of Place to job seekers. Eighty-nine per cent of all Cape York Employment staff are Indigenous. We look forward to seeing these proportions increase as we continue to lead the way in growing local Indigenous capacity. This report provides an overview of the new Cape York Partnership, its specialist portfolios, and a snapshot of operational successes over the past year. I am proud of the work of our teams on the ground in Cape York and the innovations in the pipeline. Warm regards,


OPERATIONS SUMMARY REFORM IN ACTION Cape York Partnership makes no secret about our aim to end the scourge of passive welfare dependency and its disastrous consequences for our Indigenous people of Cape York. While there is a long way to go, the Cape York Welfare Reform initiative in Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge has had a significant impact. The independent evaluation in 2013 by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) concluded that it has achieved a level of progress rarely evident in previous reform programmes in Queensland’s remote Indigenous communities. A year on from this evaluation we can report a continuation of this trend, steady but sure progress. This document provides a snapshot of data recorded by our O-Hub (formerly Opportunity Hub) staff who work with and alongside our Cape York partners. It also showcases individuals and families embracing change and influencing those around them. It’s these personal insights that epitomise the impact that our support and products are having on their lives and the lives of their children.

The progress made by families in Mossman Gorge is testament to our tenet that our people will take up opportunities and transition out of welfare and into the real economy if solutions are driven from the ground up and designed in collaboration with those they are meant to benefit. The community of Mossman Gorge has further demonstrated the critical advantage of economic opportunity in achieving positive change. The Gateway Tourism project brought about under the Welfare Reform initiative has enabled Mossman Gorge residents to step off the welfare pedestal into a new world of financial independence. Almost all families in the Gorge are making their children’s education a priority through Student Education Trusts, becoming financially responsible through MPower, and taking care of their home and families through Pride of Place, Home Pride and Parenting programmes. The power of a job and opportunity for economic independence must not be underestimated and needs to be a priority for all Cape communities and governments over the coming years. Women are proving to be proud agents of change on Cape York. It is acknowledged globally that women play a crucial

role in solving the most persistent development problems facing the world today. It’s also recognised that education is a key to ending the cycle of poverty. Combine the powerful forces of education, women and children in Cape York and we see green shoots of change. In our Cape York Welfare reform communities, 738 young people have a Student Education Trust (SET) accounts, which means money is put aside for educational and school needs. That’s 58 per cent of all young people aged 0–24 years. Eighty per cent of SET donors are women. The education of children is a priority for women in our communities. I am particularly impressed by dad Peter Gibson in Hope Vale who is aware of the disparity between men and women when it comes to their children’s education and is advocating for fathers to get on board and support education as a priority. These people are a leading example not only to those living in Cape York, but to families all over Australia. In 2014 Cape York families have saved $303,998.49 towards their children’s education. Since 2006 families in these four communities have saved an astonishing $2,144,496.78 for future educational needs. In the past 12 months parents have spent $247,122.64 on educational products to ensure their children are school ready. A total of 2522 individual items were purchased with these funds—mostly uniforms, school resources such as bags and stationery, books, readers and educational toys and games.



These stories also validate our belief that programmes conceived on the philosophical foundations of passive welfare impede progress and make bad problems worse. Our reform principles demand mutual obligation, and the development of capabilities through products and programmes that provide opportunity and foster responsibility.






305 BUYS 314


• Currently, 83 per cent of SET donors are also signed on to MPower. These members are taking responsibility for their children’s education and also seeking to improve their financial literacy and behaviour. • Currently, 97 per cent of Wise Buys members are also signed on to MPower. Members seeking to improve their financial literacy and behaviour are also learning about better purchasing options.









• Currently, only 53 per cent of Home Pride members are also members of Parenting. • Since ITAV Parenting and Home Pride complement each other well in terms of building a holistic skill set for good parenting, these figures highlight an opportunity to cross-product promotions and referrals for these two programmes.












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Our Opportunity Products show a steady climb in membership across the board indicating that more and more people are actively participating in the reform agenda. At the end of 2014, a total of 1804 individuals were signed up to at least one Opportunity Product. Of these, 39 per cent were signed up to two or more Opportunity Products. Since the total combined population of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge was only 2,489 as at the 2011 Census date, we now have approximately 74 per cent of the total population participating. Across all four communities approximately 97 per cent of the adult population (>15 years of age at the 2011 Census date) are engaged with MPower, a nine per cent increase on 2013. While we believe that active membership means people are pro actively engaging with their finances, it’s our aim to support partners in gaining the skills and capability needed to ensure that they are living within their means and meeting the needs of their family. Those who are signed up to MPower are also likely to be signed up to other products designed to increase financial literacy and planning behaviours, including Wise Buys and SET. Growing participation in ITAV Parenting has been a challenge due to the stigma attached to ‘parenting classes’ as if an admission of ‘failure’. To help break down this barrier we made a commitment to employ local people. Employing local people can and does present skill and experience deficits. To fulfil the roles it means they themselves must first have the capacity to manage their finances or parent well in order to impart skills and knowledge onto others as MPower or ITAV Parenting consultants. We entered 2014 with a goal to further grow local Indigenous capacity within our Parenting and O-Hubs and have invested heavily in mentoring and training local people for local jobs.







Many women are also working hard to improve their parenting skills, representing 83 per cent of all members signed up to ITAV Parenting. Our staff are taking a tougher approach and having hard conversations to encourage men to step up. This has seen males represent 17 per cent of all ITAV Parenting members in 2014. We hope to see this proportion rise as both men and women take responsibility for raising happy and healthy children.



development Our work is devoted to enabling the people of Cape York to make choices and have opportunities that improve their lives and their ANNUAL REPORT OVERVIEW

children’s lives. While we grasp the potential of individuals, we nurture the importance of strong and harmonious families.


A FAMILY CENTRED APPROACH OUR VISION | The people of Cape York have the capabilities to choose a life they have reason to value. Cape York Partnership pursues Indigenous empowerment. The long hand of government intervention in the lives of Indigenous people has too often smothered Indigenous initiative, leadership and responsibility. Cape York Partnership is an Indigenous organisation that has stood up to lead a comprehensive reform agenda to turn this on its head. We want to ensure that Indigenous rights and responsibility exist

in proper balance, and Indigenous people are truly enabled to be the masters of their own destinies. Our touchstone is our partnership with individuals, families and communities as they strive for lives of value, freedom and prosperity. We believe in the potential of all people. We place our children’s rights to a better future at the forefront.

OUR COGS OF CHANGE CREATING OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN, GROW AND PROSPER • Innovative policy, research and on-the-ground reforms are the lifeblood elements of Cape York Partnership. • Each policy and operational area of the Cape York Partnership is like a cog in an engine—each plays an important role in the functioning of the machine that drives our reform agenda.

Recognition & Reconciliation


Language & Culture Individual & Leadership Family Development

Cape York

Welfare Reform


Families Employment & Land Reform & Economic Home Ownership Opportunity

While Cape York Partnership aims to get all of the cogs moving, this Report focuses on individual and family development and progress and observations in this regard from our O-Hubs in Cape York Welfare Reform Communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.


INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT “Children and families are at the heart of everything we do” It is individuals and families, not communities, who are the key agents of change in the move from passive welfare to self-reliance and economic freedom. From our beginning, in 2000, we have argued that social policy had been wrongly focused on the misguided concept of ‘community’ and that the individual and family are too frequently subsumed under the vague notion of ‘community development’. We felt the focus of innovation needed to be on family development and empowerment rather than ‘community development. Communities are uplifted only when widespread individual and family change occurs.

‘Push’ and ‘pull’ factors are needed to get individuals and families to change from passivity, dependence and dysfunction, to responsibility, self-reliance and functioning. Push factors might include increasing the conditionality of welfare payments; pull factors must include providing opportunities and investment in capability-building. Our innovation is in ‘opportunity’—creating opportunity for selfreliance and responsibility rather than passive services that compound dependency.

INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT UNDER CAPE YORK WELFARE REFORM As part of the Welfare Reform initiative Cape York Partnership established O-Hubs in communities which opted in to the reform agenda—Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge. Our O-Hub staff focus on empowering individuals and families, so they can change their own and their children’s lives. We recognise we can’t make change happen for people; but we can support, inspire, and assist people to learn and grow so they can do it themselves. Some standard features of programmes and products include: • real incentives like the chance at home improvement

• strategic conversations that empower individuals and families to imagine brighter futures and inspire them to take control of their journey • working with individuals and families to move aspirations from ‘down there’ to ‘up here’ • quid pro quo commitments on individuals and families to contribute their money, labour or time, e.g. by maintaining regular financial contributions, or providing ‘sweat equity’.

The work of the Family Responsibilities Commission is also focused on restoring positive social norms and building individual and family capability. The Family Responsibilities Commission holds people to account when they breach key social norms, such as failing to get children to school, through conferencing led by local Commissioners. During conferencing, Commissioners talk with individuals and families about making changes in their lives, and refer people to the O-Hub and other support services to help them change their behaviour.


• capability building through the transfer of knowledge and skills, and embedded responsibilities









We take the best of lessons provided from: • The Indigenous people of Cape York -- We are inspired and informed by the thinking of old people and past Cape York leaders. • Academia and research -- We look internationally and nationally at successful approaches, on-the-ground practical implementation of reforms, and our own organisations and people.

Historical and current areas of work include: • • • •

Social Responsibility and Wellbeing Welfare Reform Constitutional Reform Environment and National Resource Management

• Native Title and Land Reform • Home Ownership • Employment & Economic Development

ACHIEVEMENTS • • • • • • • • • • •

Key role in Empowered Communities design development Enhanced school cultural language program in Hope Vale Developed proposal for the development of the Girl Academy at Djarragun’s Wangetti campus Proposal settled to launch the new school in late 2015 or early 2016 Provided formal responses to: Australian Government Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia Forrest Review Regional Planning Interest Regulation Joint Select Committee, Constitutional Recognition Hosted i20 Cape York Summit Increase Indigenous staff representation to 27%

ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR OPPORTUNITY PRODUCTS Supporting families to take responsibility • Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge • Community members are engaging with multiple products at once to build their capabilities across many facets of their lives



• 738 Student Education Trust Accounts (58% of all young people aged 0-24) • In 2014 Cape York families have saved $303, 998.49 towards their children’s education • Across WR communities 97 per cent of the adult population are engaged with MPower, a nine per cent increase from 2013 • Stabilised Parenting program and enhanced its delivery • Total of 1804 individuals were signed up to at least one Opportunity Product (74% of the total population participating) • Our Opportunity Products show a steady climb in membership across the board indicating that more and more people are actively participating in the reform agenda • Maintained 57% Indigenous employment levels


WORK OPPORTUNITY NETWORK Job Seeker Development • Health and Wellbeing • Foundational class/skills • Personal work skills • Life skills • Getting job ready • Training & Jobs

Training opportunities for work readiness • Job Placement • Wellbeing Support • RJCP contract Aurukun and Coen -- 505 case load -- 162 people in real jobs in 18 months -- 80 commenced Cert II

Orbiting • Short and long term • Job placement away from home • Social support and wellbeing


Commenced 434 eligible Job Seekers, 91% of total Case Load Actively 44.7% of Case Load participating (National Average 40.6%) Transitioned 132 Job Seekers into real jobs Completed 111 Job Seekers across a range of structured accredited training Maintained 82% Indigenous employment levels

AN INDIGENOUS VENTURE CAPITAL AND ADVISORY FIRM THAT UNDERTAKES THREE CORE ACTIVITIES: 1. Originate, develop and grow businesses that are (at least initially) 100% subsidiaries of the Cape York Partnership 2. Incubate and develop businesses that are owned by independent Indigenous entrepreneurs 3. Provide corporate advisory services to Indigenous organisations


Developed a unique indigenous venture capital model Supported the turnaround of Bama Services Incubated development of Cape York Timber Provided a range of commercial advisory services to traditional owner groups

Bama has grown to be a market leader in Indigenous maintenance, landscaping, building and civil construction Cairns and Cape York • Clients—private and government organisations • Staff—more than 90% of operational staff are Indigenous. -- 35 employees • Growth: -- Rio Tinto (SoE) -- Major landscaping and construction works -- Peninsula Development Road -- Waste (Veolia) -- New home starts and renovations


Achieved financial stability Maintained 90% indigenous employment levels Secured a range of new clients Launched a landscaping and minor works division




PREMIUM TIMBER FROM CAPE YORK • Produces high-quality, sustainable Australian hardwood • Provides Indigenous employment and training • Provides income to Native Title holders • Opening up a new industry for the benefit of Traditional Owners Established in 2013 with private and government support: -- 10,000m3 pa Cooktown mill -- Seven full-time regional Indigenous jobs -- Traditional Owner harvesting agreement -- Critical growth issue: log supply (Gov controlled) -- Retail timber industry clients -- Growth opportunity: Nanum Tawup (Napranum), Weipa (Rio) JV


Settled business plan Procured and installed 10,000m3 capacity hardwood mill in Cooktown Recruited 80% indigenous workforce Successfully completed first season of harvesting and milling

DREAM MORE. LEARN MORE. BE MORE. The Cape York Leaders Program provides educational and leadership opportunities for students and adults with leadership aspirations. The program includes: • Academic leaders—talented Indigenous students in secondary or tertiary studies • Youth leaders—18-24 yrs • Skilling leaders—25yrs and over • Excelling leaders—high calibre emerging leaders 25yrs and over

ACHIEVEMENTS • • • • • • • • •

Cape York Leaders Program Developed a unique Indigenous Natural Leaders Program Supported 760 Cape York members through building capabilities 2005 Supported 157 Secondary Scholarship students since 2005 Supported 48 Tertiary Scholarship students since 2009 Supported 562 Adult leadership scholarships since 2007 Student Retention 98% Members employment rate across all phases 80% Maintained 100% Indigenous employment levels



Primarily Indigenous students from Cape York, the Torres Strait Islands, Yarrabah, Cairns and surrounds • a high expectations approach • literacy and numeracy through Direct Instruction (DI) for primary school • Australian curriculum and QCAA for senior school • supportive teacher professional development • supportive pastoral care program

ACHIEVEMENTS • Recruited new Principal • Stabilised governance and financial performance • Settled five year Strategic Plan



opportunity SUPPORTING FAMILIES TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY O-Hubs assist families to become competent and confident in managing their money, and caring for their family. They are a one-stop-shop for Opportunity Products designed to encourage and support individuals and families to manage and take responsibility for their finances, health and their children’s education. It has replaced the traditional welfare service centres that previously created dependency by delivering passive services to families.


Our O-Hub staff are seeing people take control of their lives and pursue bigger dreams and a better existence. It might be that the first step was taking control of money through MPower, or deciding to work out how to have a more satisfying relationship with children through our parenting programmes.

The focus of the O-Hubs is to support welfare dependent individuals and families to live at a level of basic functionality through: • Engaging in their children’s education

• Budgeting and income

• Positive parenting

• Engaging in family health

• Pride in the family home



Opportunity Products are designed to activate and encourage self-reliance and responsibility and often include quid pro quo commitments from individuals and families to contribute money, labour or time. The products are in a constant state of review and improvement as community needs evolve.

Pride of Place



Student Education Trusts



Provides support to manage money for basic material needs, build capabilities through financial literacy and behavior change, and to build assets through saving and disciplined money management. Launched: 2011 Membership: 1548

An interior decorating do-it-yourself project designed to grow skills in running a household, strengthening family relationships, cook healthy meals and maintaining a home. Launched: 2013 Membership: 63



Student Education Trust (SET) supports parents to meet their child’s education and development needs from birth to graduation. Many family members can contribute to a child’s education trust promoting positive reciprocity. Launched: 2007 Students: 828 Donors: 567

A backyard renovation project where families make a financial and physical contribution or ‘sweat equity’ and in return receive labour and materials to help complete their project. Launched: 2010 Membership: 285



A programme to assist people to identify value for money household goods and services and access them independently. Launched: 2012 Membership: 242

An initiative that enables family members to collectively contribute financially and physically to build a shack on traditional homelands. Available in Hope Vale only. Launched: 2011 Builds: 2 completed, 2 in progress

STRONG FAMILIES PARENTING A suite of specialised opportunities for parents and carers to learn how best to support a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development from infancy to adulthood. Launched: 2012 Membership: 209


family stories AURUKUN

PARENTING TOGETHER “Things are starting to change.” Terry Woolla signed up to ITAV Strong Families to support his partner, Mildred Karyuka, as she starts using positive parenting strategies at home. “We’ve signed up to find a way to stop the kids mucking up too much,” Terry says. Mildred and Terry have started attending sessions together so that they’re on the same page with parenting techniques at home. “I like to attend sessions as well—it straightens things out in my mind too. I’m glad I went because now I feel like I don’t need to yell out to my children to get them to respond to me.” Terry is optimistic for his family’s future—“I think it will get better with time —we’ll stick with the parenting programme. It’s great that we get to have a strong relationship with our children which is the most important thing to us.” As they begin to see changes at home, Terry is spreading

Terry Woolla and Mildred Karyuka are taking a team approach to parenting.

the word about It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. “People ask why we go to the Parenting Hub and what it’s like. We say that it is good for the kids and it is helping

SETTING AN MPOWER EXAMPLE “I want to show a good example to others in my community.”

“I found out about these things from family members and decided to sign up for myself so that I could learn to manage my money and show a good example to others in my community. “I contribute to my granddaughter’s SET account. She is seven years-old and will need that when she moves further through school so she can get what she needs at school. It’s very important for her to be in school.” Sandra Grace Bowenda is a member of MPower and saves for family and household items.

Sandra said in the future she would like to sign up for Pride of Place as she has a keen interest in gardening.



Sandra Grace Bowenda said she is currently saving money so that she can buy a lawn mower, car, bed and mattress.

COMMUNITY COMPLIMENTS “Pride of Place is just the start.” Anthony Yunkaporta will have his Pride of Place project completed in time for Christmas celebrations. “I signed up for Pride of Place this year and it has helped my family in a big way because they’re learning about gardening and the kids want to help when I’m pushing the wheelbarrow, which is good exercise,” Anthony said. “I had seen it from other people and it’s not a bad idea because you only have to put a bit of money in,” Anthony said. “Everyone should have Pride of Place if they want a good garden. It’s also something to do after work, instead of sitting around.” Although the garden is still a work in progress, Anthony said he enjoys the paved area the most. “It’s a place where you can relax and have your own time. It’s my relaxation square.” A lot of people in the community have also responded positively to the garden. “People are asking where I got this stuff and I say, ‘Pride of Place’. They say to me, ‘I’m going to sign up next year’.” Anthony has ambitious plans for his backyard. “In the future I would like to build a water slide, swimming pool and fountains in my garden… Pride of Place is just a start.”

Anthony Yunkaporta said the kids are keen to help in the new garden and friends and family are paying him nice compliments

EDUCATION TOP PRIORITY “I’m now saving for Pride of Place.” Laurelle Poonkamelya is the mother of five children. While four have now finished school each child has had a Student Education Trust to help support their educational needs. Her youngest son, George Ngallametta is still in school and using his SET account. “SET has been very useful. It helps to save money for all of my kids…when at boarding school they need things like a computer, bedding, uniforms, stationery and linen which SET helped me to buy.”


George starts high school next year which could bring on some larger expenses. “SET means when he goes to boarding school and needs a laptop, I can say, yes. I can get you one because of SET.” Laurelle said she also encourages others to sign up to SET. “I tell them they can get something for their kids so they can learn.”

Putting money aside for education has been a priority for Laurelle Poonkamelya.


In the future, Laurelle is looking to sign up for Pride of Place. “I like doing gardens and cleaning the yard so I will be saving for Pride of Place.”

family stories COEN

MAKING MONEY STRETCH FURTHER “I talk to the O-Hub about where I can save dollars.” Daveena Thomas’ goal is to live a healthy and happy life with her partner and to provide a good quality education for her son Davis. She has been a member of MPower for several years, shops regularly through Wise Buys and uses her Student Education Trust to keep her son Davis in educational supplies. “Davis (12 years) was just a few months old, learning to crawl when I started his SET.” “It saves me the stress if we want anything for education—I just take the paper work to Tracey at the O-Hub—books, uniforms, a whole heap of things, back to school pack, all the educational stuff. “We got his suit for graduation, a formal suit.”

Daveena Thomas said her son Davis was just a few months old when she started a Student Education Trust.

“I remember going to school and because we only had a little money we would just window shop (in Mareeba). I would say ‘Oh, I love that’. I would be looking at all the pretty school stuff. I so love that. If I get money I’m coming back for that we would say. “Now I can just get them. We’d always go for second hand stuff, or the cheapest brand. “I know money is being put to use in a good way. I know it’s a positive thing and that’s my kid. I’d do anything for my kids to get a good education.” Davis is off to Marist Brothers in Brisbane this year and Daveena says that his SET will help to fund everything he needs. Deveena works for Centrelink, her office is co-located in the O-Hub building

“MPower helped me to organise my banking. I have two accounts. One to pay the bills, and one pays for shopping, things for the house and clothes. “MPower gave me ideas on how you can save and where there is a better place to shop for better deals, give you better options for your money. I don’t know where this community would be without this office. “The problem is with some people, who have a budgeting problem, they still don’t want to grow up. Still want to have that fun time and spend money on alcohol, like you are acting like a teenager. “We’re not perfect but we pay our bills off. I have learned to contact people to let them know I can’t pay that but I can pay a portion this week to save us getting into trouble. Daveena says in 2015 she’ll be putting money away for flights to visit Davis at boarding school in Brisbane mid-term. “I don’t like flying but I’ll pray before I get on the plane and thank God when we get there!”



“I use Wise Buys for online shopping for groceries, clothes, and I shop around for anything. I talk to the O-Hub a lot about good deals and where I can save dollars.

OUR FAMILY YARNING SPACE “My kids and I are excited about doing the Pergola up.” “My kids and I are proud to finally have somewhere to call home. We wanted something different like having a pergola added to our back yard because it looked bare We love the Pergola, and what we hope to do with it during the summer months is take full advantage of it like having BBQ and just finding time to go and sit there in the evenings just to yarn, relax and reflect. My kids and I are excited about doing the pergola up like putting some climbing plants around the beams, finding some nice lighting to put up for the evenings and some beautiful potted plants to put around the outside and maybe putting up some water proof curtains for privacy. It wasn’t hard to save as I nominated a certain amount to be deducted out of my account and deposited into the POP account each fortnight The building part of it wasn’t hard too because my boys got in and helped as well.” By Marilyn Kepple

The whole family got stuck into building the pergola and love the new yarning space.

CREATING CHRISTMAS CHEER “I have learned how to manage money better.” Kayla Kulla Kulla is setting a good example for other young mothers in Coen. She heard through friends and family about Opportunity Products at the O-Hub and thought she’d see first-hand what they were talking about. Now a member of MPower, SET and a regular iBank user, she feels like she is in control and making progress. “I have learned a lot. I have learned how to manage money better through budgeting, and how to do internet banking.” “My SET helps me to put money aside for my son ANNUAL REPORT OVERVIEW

Phoenix’s schooling, his uniform and other educational things that you can buy at the SET stalls. “I am working on savings to buy Christmas presents—a bike, trampoline and toys for my son and I have five nieces and three nephews I want to buy presents for.” Kayla is working with Lionel Perrier, a Coen MPower Consultant to put money away to make Christmas everything she is hoping for. Kayla Kulla Kulla is focussed on providing for her son.


family stories HOPE VALE

GETTING SAVVY WITH TECHNOLOGY “It feels good to learn online banking.” Leanne Finley has recently learnt how to use internet banking via iBank. She previously only used telephone banking. “It feels good to learn online banking. It’s new technology for me and it’s good I can now check my balance on the computer. I can see how much I’ve got in my account and where my money goes.” Leanne has also recently completed her first No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) application in order to buy herself a bed. “MPower has helped me a lot. I know I can ask for support to help me out with things.”

Leanne Finley feels more in control of her banking with access to internet services.

ANYONE FOR TEA? Irene Bambie’s garden is turning heads in Hope Vale—“They love it”. Irene started with a Pride of Place project and there’s now no stopping her.

“I plan to keep doing more work with tyres, now I’m completing what I started. It’s very nice having people come by, stopping and looking at it, and admiring it.”

POP Garden Club member Irene Bambie has created a tourist attraction with her sense of garden fun.



“Pride of Place and the POP Garden Club gave me ideas about how to complete my garden. It has been good motivation and encouragement for others who have got ideas. Many locals say they love it and they it is giving them ideas about doing things in their gardens.

PROUD HOME OWNER “The house is a joint family venture.” Cheryl Cannon retired from teaching to build a family home. “I did a budgeting course through MPower, found out that I was spending on silly things. I didn’t need to go to Gilled and Gutted every weekend. Now I drive past and no big deal. “It took six months for me to save the deposit. “I wanted to show my community and family that you have to care for your home that you don’t have to run to council for everything. “I’ve planted out the front yard with flowers and bush tress, and the backyard with edible varieties, Tahitian limes, lemon, mandarins and bananas. “The house is a joint family venture—my youngest daughter will inherit it. “We’ve been busy done landscaping. I was mowing on a right angle, so my son made it level for me with rocks. Every time I’m in Cairns I look around for a new plant.” But retirement wasn’t enough for Cheryl. She still wanted to help her community. Now, she’s a Family Responsibilities Commissioner and has her first sitting, in October, under her belt. Rather than being like a courtroom, she was surprised it was such a ‘two-way learning’ experience.

Cheryl is helping her family to build wealth for generations to come.

“All the aggro is gone, and people are willing to accept consequences and talk through problems and be helped through issues.” She says income management is the only way to get some people to take responsibility. “Those who are income managed always have food on the table, and bills paid. “When we were growing up we had elders that would support our families. That respect for elders is returning. As FRC Commissioners, we are there for families to talk to and help.”

A PROUD MUM “I recommend SET to other parents—it helped me out a lot financially.” Paula Fullagar says before SET she always had to budget to reach the amount of money she needed to buy uniforms and shoes and could only afford to buy individual items a bit at a time. She says through SET she has learnt budgeting skills and is a lot more organised, building up her money and saving it for important purchases.


“It makes me feel proud of myself. I feel a better person— especially when I’m on top of everything and the new school year is just around the corner.” Paula’s mother told her about SET after a workshop was held. Paula says, “Other kids were buying things like educational books and toys and I wanted the same for my kids.” “I feel pretty independent now and not seeking handouts from family. “I am trying to stay ahead of the due date knowing that I have money to cover everything.”


Paula Fullagar said SET has helped to take the stress out of saving for school items.

family stories MOSSMAN GORGE

POSITIVE PARENTING “I’m proud of myself for seeking help.” It’s normal for kids to act out and test the boundaries as they grow up but this can be challenging and very stressful for parents. Janet Ross-Kelly was struggling with her son’s behaviour so she turned to It Takes a Village to Raise a Child for support. “I needed help—someone to talk to about some of the not-so-nice behaviours happening at home.” During her Strong Families sessions, Janet is learning positive parenting strategies to use at home. “I’m learning tips on how to manage my time, how to talk to my kids so they understand, and tips on how to properly use a behavioural chart. “I feel good about what I’m doing and how much I am improving. “I’m giving my children quality care. I am learning how to manage my children in a happy way.

Janet Ross-Kelly would like to work with children in the future.

“I tell lots of people about parenting, I think it can benefit a lot of community parents.” As she learns more about positive parenting and gains confidence, she’s interested in also working with children outside of the home. “I would like to work with children. I am studying to be a teacher and looking for jobs dealing with children and families as well.”

GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT “I am looking at growing paw paw, mint and spinach.” Susan Joyce Bamboo ‘Joyce’ signed up for Pride of Place (POP) to make the garden look “beautiful”.

“Since joining up I’ve learned a lot about gardening, how to look after it, water it and keep it in good shape.” Joyce says that Barry Preston, POP Supervisor at Mossman has inspired her with lots of good ideas. “Barry showed us a garden with Mexican chillies, grapefruits and beans. I am looking at growing paw paws, mint and spinach.” Susan Bamboo loves to grow a garden she can cook with and gets lots of ideas from POP.

Susan won ‘Best Edible Garden in the Village’ in 2012 and will nominate for the 2014 Garden Competition.



“My father was a keen gardener and would grow all sorts of fruit and veges and I want to do the same. I grow wild tomatoes and chillies. The tomatoes are good to eat—we cook them or put them in a salad.

MOBILE MAKES IT EASY “It’s much easier to pay bills.” Clive Kooka is a man on the move and pleased to learn how to use his mobile phone to check his bank balance whenever he needs. “I signed up to MPower so that I can do internet banking and order over the phone and pay for things. It also makes it much easier with paying bills. “I learnt how to do internet banking and the new one for me is the mobile—checking my bank details using my mobile. “My goal is to save up for a house. I also think others should sign up if they have an interest in doing internet banking.”

Clive Kooka loves internet banking and checking details on his phone.

MOSSMAN GORGE WOMEN’S RETREAT CAPE TRIBULATION The “Kiji Story” Retreat The Mossman Gorge Women’s retreat at Cape Tribulation was a fitting end to a 10 week Women’s Conversation Circle. The Conversation Circle meetings were held once a week in the lead up to the retreat and carefully planned to coincide with the full moon, which was the theme of the camp—the Kija (Moon) Story. The Kija Story is a Kuku Yalanji dreamtime story, and is the birthing story for the local Bama people. The camp was held near the vicinity of where the birthing story begins.

on another piece of paper what they wanted to bring forth. These were then placed under their crystal grids for the duration of the camp. Some braved the cold water and went for swims in the creek, others went for walks on the beach, joined Yoga sessions or just enjoyed being immersed in the sanctuary of the rainforest.

The retreat was attended by a dozen women including camp co-ordinator, ITAV’s Julie Williams and Ellie Starkey, Community Development Officer/Counsellor at Mossman Gorge Wellbeing Centre.


Many topics were covered over the duration of the camp, these included—Generational Mapping, Kija Story, Mother Legacy, Two Hours of Complete Silence, The Wild Women’s Nature, Family Roles, and Feeling Good About Yourself. The women also pulled out their crystal collections that were acquired through a recent workshop and used these to amplify their intentions of letting go, and creating new and positive situations in their lives. This was done by writing down on a piece of paper what they needed to let go, and

The Kiji Story Retreat was designed for the women to reflect, let go and grow for the future.

TAKING PRIDE “Get to know people by doing a lot of activities.” Trixie Kerr is a Home Pride star sewing her own curtains and cushions. Her latest piece of artwork included an image transferring activity. She chose a photo of her late husband which is now proudly displayed in her home. “I’m enjoying Home Pride, I get to know people by doing a lot of activities together.”


Profile for Cape York Partnership

CYP Annual Report 2014  

CYP Annual Report 2014